1 – Kickoff Match – Mojo Rawley vs. Curt Hawkins (Kickoff Match)
Uuuuuuuummmm who is Hawkins again? I guess Rawley cuz he’s kinda-sorta over and people like heading into a PPV happy?
2 -Nikki Bella vs. Natalya
Figuring this is the end of this feud, so Nikki prolly has to stand tall heading into WM season proper. Really hoping for a surprisingly physical match, as I know both of these ladies can go. But yeah, gotta assume Nikki takes this and wins the feud before moving on to her Mania plans.
PICK: Nikki Bella
3- Dolph Ziggler vs. Kalisto & Apollo Crews (Handicap Match)
Ziggler’s undeserved overconfidence kept costing him matches as a face, so surely here his new heelish ways will lead him to a win? Otherwise what’s the point? He loses as a face, then also loses as a heel? By his own design? Let him cheat in a big way and get a reaction outta Crews, then let them have some kind of real-ass match down the line. All three are great in the ring so at the very least it should be entertaining!
PICK: Dolph Ziggler
4 – Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James
This’ll be Mickie’s first big moment, so I’d like to see her win – though by heelish means, of course. Not sure Alexa would assist given that she has her own match, but Mickie could pull some kinda fast one to keep Becky down. Imagining the women heels win tonight so we get a 4 or 6-woman tag at Mania.
PICK: Mickie James
5- Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper
Harper hopefully gets some good hits in and shows why he’s deserving of more high-profile matches, but you can’t have the Rumble winner lose his next big match. Cuz then it’s like, the Rumble winner and WM headliner just lost but still gets to go do all these high profile things. The feud has been pretty cool and Harper deserves a big WM moment but if they’re settling this match at EC, then Orton’s gotta take the V.
PICK: Randy Orton
6- WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions American Alpha vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno vs. Breezango vs. The Usos vs. The Ascension vs. The Vaudevillains (Tag Team Turmoil Match)
Uuuuuuugh Alpha are SO GOOD so I want them to retain. So that even up against everyone else in the division, they are the best. But pick one team – any of them! – as a near-equal, and build on that. Ascension is kinda cool when they have a streak or some wins behind them, the Usos are more interesting than ever, so why not give them a chance to push Alpha to the brink, even try to cheat, and set up a proper match at Mania?
PICK: American Alpha
7- WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi
Thinking Bliss retains so we get a 4 or 6-way tag match at Mania. I know we kinda already saw the four person equivalent, and Naomi pinned Bliss in that case, but I’m at a loss with these four. Love Bliss and really want her to have a star making match that’s on par with her mic work and general body language, but is Naomi the person to deliver that match? Dunno! Hoping both of them surprise us all.
PICK: Alexa Bliss
8- WWE World Champion John Cena vs. AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz vs. Baron Corbin vs. Bray Wyatt (Elimination Chamber Match)
The only guess here is Wyatt, so he can face Orton. That seems so obvious that it almost certainly won’t be Wyatt, but what other prediction could there be? Do we want a Miz / Orton feud? Ambrose holding two belts? I don’t think either Cena vs Orton or Styles vs Orton are matches people really want to see (maybe the latter?) this year, so again, why bet against the one outcome people want, based on a feud that actually has some interest?
PICK: Bray Wyatt
There you have it! Reply with your match picks, main event running time, and your choice of wrestler theme for next week’s Patreon-exclusive Cheap Popcast below!